Last summer, Doctor Who fans were crushed to hear that Eleventh Doctor
and clumsy baby giraffe Matt Smith would be stepping down from the iconic role the following Christmas. Two months later, in a live, worldwide special, Smith’s successor was announced: Peter Capaldi, arguably the first veteran actor to assume the role and a household name in the UK for his many memorable TV characters, including spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on the BBC’s The Thick of It. The feedback was generally positive, with some scattered ageist comments that we’re going to pretend were never uttered, but it would be another year until Capaldi’s real debut, where fans would be able to see him in action.
Now halfway through Series 8, Capaldi appears to have breathed new life into Doctor Who. His version of the enigmatic time-traveler is the most alien in recent memory, and it’s making for some cracking good TV. Here’s a brief look at his tenure so far, broken down by episode.
MAJOR EPISODE SPOILERS AHEAD.
I am writing this post from beyond the grave, because Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special killed me dead.
Yeah, I’ll admit it: I was pessimistic during the build-up to this most auspicious occasion. I grumbled for months about the trailer for “The Day of the Doctor” being released late (still grumbling in fact), and despite the staggering celebration line-up announced in October, I felt the classic Doctors were being quietly nudged aside. I quelled my fangirl jitters on the grounds that the special just wouldn’t live up to my expectations.
I’m so happy to have been proven wrong.
“The Day of the Doctor” is one humdinger of an adventure, equal parts playful historical jaunt, sobering backstory, and squee-worthy fanservice. On the outside, it resembles any other madcap episode — the Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) are enlisted to stop Earth from falling into the slimy, suction-y hands of the Zygons, a villainous race making its first appearance since the classic series. But weaved throughout that predictable A-plot is easily the darkest B-plot the show has tackled since its return: the Doctor’s involvement in the Time War, where he was forced to wipe out his home planet of Gallifrey to end the violence. Loaded with snappy dialogue and peppered with more than a few surprises for the devoted Whovian, this was an anniversary to end all anniversaries.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatniss like to create elaborate universes for their fanbase. This includes having the BBC create websites that exist in the worlds of both Sherlock and the fans. The following list only has official blogs for Sherlock characters. There are no weird fetish Tumblrs or LiveJournal entries about what someone would like to do with Sherlock, John, and a tub of Cool Whip.
The Science of Deduction
Sherlock’s website The Science of Deduction is identical to the one he updates in the show. It comes complete with a request for “interesting cases only please” and case files. Many of the case files direct those interested to John Watson’s blog because, according to Sherlock, people are more interested in what John has to say. Unfortunately, there is no phone number for female fans to call Benedict Cumberbatch asking for him to deduce some things.
The blog of Dr. John H. Watson
Sorry, Sherlock, but you’re right. John’s blog is more compelling. Prior to meeting Sherlock, John had nothing to write about, except for the occasional meeting with his mates. That all changed on January 29 (no year given). Since that fateful meeting, John has been blogging about his adventures with Sherlock. The posts correspond to specific Sherlock episodes, so John hasn’t update his blog in a while, but that should change when the first episode of series 3 airs on October 31 in the UK.
As a die hard Doctor Who fan I find the upcoming changes in the show to be both thrilling and absolutely terrifying. Between the new companion Clara joining the cast, the 50th anniversary special slated for the fall, and parting with the 11th doctor, Matt Smith, I’ve admittedly had several panic attacks comforted only by the fact that I have such faith in the creators of the show and how they handle change. After all, one of the most magnificent things about this particular show is that every couple seasons it reinvents itself. Without this very fact, the show arguably would have never reached the level of success it has.
So, with that said, I find myself saying I am ready for the new doctor. I am ready for the next brilliant artist (as they all have been brilliant haven’t they?) to take over and put their spin on this whacky character who I love so dearly. I’m even going to go as far to say that I’m downright excited! But this excitement and anticipation for changes leaves me wanting something else to change.
Steven Moffat needs to move on and Doctor Who needs a new show runner.